Army
taxes, IRS

As the IRS faces a backlog of about 23.5 million tax returns and pieces of correspondence stretching back to the 2020 tax season, members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee called on the agency Thursday to modernize its IT systems and invest in scanning technology to improve efficiency.

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USPS Postal Service

Leaders of the House Oversight and Reform Committee are launching an investigation into identity verification contractor ID.me, citing concerns about the efficacy, security, and privacy of its facial recognition technology that is used by millions of Americans seeking access to government services.

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Critical infrastructure
Senate hearing Congressional-min

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved legislation on March 30 that would jumpstart IT modernization efforts for Federal agencies – but at the same time rejected an amendment to the bill that would help pay for that effort.

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Capitol snow day winter-min

Two key Biden administration nominations to the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) failed to win approval today from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, as the committee deadlocked with 7-7 votes on both nominations.

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chips

Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, this week urged Congress to move toward final passage of legislation that would provide $52 billion of funding to reinvigorate the U.S. semiconductor industry and aid the domestic automotive industry.

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While Democratic members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs fear cryptocurrency could be used to help Russia evade economic sanctions, witnesses at a hearing on March 17 reminded lawmakers how crypto is being used for good, providing over $55 million to Ukraine for much needed humanitarian aid and supplies.

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cellphone
Senate hearing Congressional-min
capitol washington dc senate house congress-min

While Congress has taken several steps to shine a light on the workings of the digital assets market, Rostin Behnam, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), says lawmakers still need to address the CFTC’s lack of enforcement authority in the digital asset space.

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Senate hearing Congressional-min
FITARA

The House Government Operations Subcommittee has confirmed scheduling for its Jan. 20 hearing on the 13th edition of the FITARA Scorecard issued by the House Oversight and Reform Committee that grades major Federal agencies for progress across a range of IT-related goals.

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During a House Committee on Oversight and Reform subcommittee hearing today, the committee took up two IT-related bills, H.R. 4688 and H.R. 5792, one of which was reported favorably to the House and the other postponed with some resistance from the GOP side of the committee.

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capitol washington dc senate house congress-min

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted today to approve three Biden administration nominees to the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), an independent administrative Federal agency that administers the labor-management relations programs for more than two million non-postal Federal employees.

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capitol washington dc senate house congress-min

Artificial intelligence (AI) experts testified today before the House Financial Services Committee’s AI task force to help House members understand the risks associated with AI-based tools.

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Senate hearing Congressional-min
Senate hearing Congressional-min

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven home the importance of international collaboration in science to solve global problems, and witnesses at a House Space, Science, and Technology Committee hearing on October 5 emphasized the importance of balancing the benefits of open collaboration in science with the pressing need for information security in the research enterprise.

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Senate hearing Congressional-min

Members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee at a September 29 hearing sketched out the latest chapter in a years-long debate about how to boost consumer data privacy protections – with the current options centering on a proposal from committee Chair Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., that would set up a new privacy bureau for that purpose at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

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capitol washington dc senate house congress-min

Senate-approved legislation that would boost Federal funding for U.S.-based semiconductor manufacturing and provide the National Science Foundation (NSF) with another $52 billion over five years for research initiatives received strong endorsements from private sector witnesses at a July 15 Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing.

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IT

For once, the biggest problem with engineering effective IT modernization may not boil down to a lack of money to tackle the job. That conclusion was a top-line takeaway from Republicans, Democrats, and private sector experts at a hearing of the House Government Operations Subcommittee hearing today on how the COVID-19 pandemic exposed state and local governments’ antiquated IT systems, and what governments should do about it now that pandemic conditions are easing in many areas.

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A week after seeking information on ransom pay from two other ransomware victims, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a June 10 letter to JBS Foods USA asking for information about its reported decision to pay an $11 million ransom, the committee announced.

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Cybersecurity
ransomware
telework

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and several chairs of the panel’s key subcommittees today asked inspectors general (IGs) from ten Federal agencies for assessments of any cybersecurity vulnerabilities that were created or worsened by the use of telework systems during the coronavirus pandemic, and whether any such vulnerabilities have been mitigated.

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Senate hearing Congressional-min
Cyber workforce people

House Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Gerry Connolly, D-Va., is asking the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to proceed with caution as it decides when and to what degree to have Federal employees return to their traditional office workplaces.

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